Everyone is talking about Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary. However this extraordinary HELLO! photograph celebrates a breathtaking 215 years of the world famous soap.
Between them these six iconic stars of the Street have clocked up this staggering tally: William Roache (Ken Barlow) – 50 years; Betty Driver (Betty Williams) – 41 years; Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan) – 38 years; Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth) – 31 years; Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin) – 30 years; and Julie Goodyear (Bet Lynch) – 25 years.
These are undoubtedly six of Weatherfield’s very own royalty reunited by HELLO! magazine, along with some of the younger cast, for a historic shoot by John Swannell to celebrate the show’s golden anniversary.
Talking exclusively to HELLO!, Julie Goodyear reveals “I find it difficult to get my head around the idea of being an icon. When I go back home I’m just Julie from Heywood, the little Lancashire cotton town where I was born.”
Bill Tarmey would have clocked up even more hours but for his health: “To be honest, if not for my health, you’d have had to drag me out of there screaming.”
Johnny Briggs spent 30 years of his life playing loveable rogue Mike Baldwin and modestly tells HELLO! “The true strength of the Street is that there isn’t a star. The star of the show is the Rovers. People come and go, and the show still carries on.”
Idolised not just by the nation but by the younger cast too, Chris Gascoyne says of his screen dad William Roache, “He could be a diva, 50 years as one of the most famous, if not the most famous, man in the country, but he is the nicest man I know.”
Kym Marsh adds “I feel honoured to be working with Bill (Roache), Betty, Barbara and Bill Tarmey. They are legends. Johnny Briggs left as I joined so I never really got to know him, and I’d never met Julie Goodyear before today. I was nervous about meeting her; you want someone like Julie to like you. I’d have loved to have worked with her.”
FOR THE FULL SET OF PHOTOGRAPHS AND ARTICLE, SEE THIS WEEK’S HELLO! MAGAZINE, ISSUE 1150, OUT NOW